Click on any of the five sections and you're on your way.

  • Start

    The first step to eating healthy is to learn what healthy looks like.

    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR HEALTHIER EATING

    Simple
    Look for food with no added ingredients—like fresh fruits and vegetables—from the produce section or your local farmers' market. Avoid foods with a long list of ingredients, which often include extra fats, sugars, and salts.
    Low
    When choosing foods, you'll want to keep the concept of "low" in mind. For soups and canned beans and vegetables, look for options labeled low or reduced sodium. When looking at recipes, skip the ones that add a lot of butter, cheese, salt, or sugar. And make sure not to add fat, salt, or sugar to your foods at the table!
    Color
    The more different colors you choose in your fruits and veggies, the more vitamins and nutrients you get.
  • Shop

    Once you know what you're looking for, it's time to plan your trip to the grocery store or a local farmers' market.

    TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR SHOPPING LIST

    Start with what you have

    Check your fridge, freezer, and cabinets. Plan meals that use what you already have in the house.

    Think about the fruits and veggies first

    Meals based around fruits and veggies are cheaper—and better for you—than meat. Look at what's in season, what looks good, and what is on sale—and think of how you can base meals around these fruits and veggies.

    Look up budget-friendly recipes

    There are lots of sites with healthy, low-cost recipes. Try Food Hero or Spend Smart Eat Smart for ideas. Get your family in on the fun by asking them to rate new meals on a scale of 1 to 5. When you find a recipe that your family rates a 3 or above, keep it on hand for future meal planning!

    Plan for 5-6 meals with extra for leftovers

    Cooking larger batches helps you save money by buying ingredients in larger quantities—and using the leftovers for lunch.

    KEEP CHEAP AND EASY-TO-COOK STAPLE FOODS TO MAKE MEALTIME SIMPLE

    Buy extras of foods that you can use regularly and that keep on the shelf (called staple foods) when they're on sale, like rice, dry beans, peanut butter, canned soup, and canned or frozen vegetables. Having staples of cheap and easy-to-cook foods can make mealtime simple.

  • Store

    Once you get your healthy food home, it's time to store it and prepare it so your family can enjoy tasty—and healthy—meals and snacks.

    HOW TO STORE YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES

    apple

    Apple

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW unwrapped

    time 3 weeks

    onion

    Onion

    WHERE dark pantry

    HOW unwrapped

    time 1-2 months

    banana

    Banana

    WHERE countertop

    HOW unwrapped

    time 3 days once ripe

    broccoli

    Broccoli

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW wrapped in plastic

    time 5 days

    tomatoes

    Tomatoes

    WHERE countertop

    HOW unwrapped

    time 5 days

    carrots

    Carrots

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW plastic bag

    time 3 weeks

    grapes

    Grapes

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW perforated plastic bag

    time 1-2 weeks

    Celery

    Celery

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW wrapped in foil

    time 2 weeks

    berries

    Berries

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW uncovered, vented container

    time 3-5 days

    head of lettuce

    Lettuce

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW plastic bag with dry paper towel

    time 5 days

    cucumber

    Cucumber

    WHERE refrigerator drawer

    HOW wrapped in plastic

    time 1 week

    potatoes

    Potatoes

    WHERE dark pantry

    HOW paper bag

    time 1-2 months


  • Prep

    Remember, veggies taste the best when they're cooked for the right amount of time—not too crunchy and not too soft. Also, fruits are the easiest to eat when prepared in bite-size and simple ways.

    Here are some quick tips for getting your family to eat more fruits and veggies:

    Fast Fruit

    Wash grapes and place in individual baggies or small containers in the fridge for quick, grab-and-go snacks.

    Veggies On-The-Go

    Cut up a bunch of raw veggies (peppers, carrots, or broccoli) and keep them in the fridge for quick snacks—or put them out in a bowl when kids come home from school.

    For The Sweet Tooth

    Serve fruit (sliced melon or strawberries) for a sweet and healthy dessert.

    Spice It Up

    Get creative with healthy seasonings—like basil, thyme, and oregano—to make veggies tasty without adding salt or fats.

    Add A Side Of Veggies

    Steam fresh or frozen vegetables as a quick side dish to your dinner. Just put veggies in a bowl, add a small amount of water, and microwave for a few minutes.

    Stir Things Up

    Use up leftover veggies at the end of each week in a Stir-Fry.

    Veggie Cooking Cheat Sheet

    Broccoli
    (cut into florets)

    Stir-Fry 3-4 minutes
    Steamed 5-6 minutes
    Microwave 2-3 minutes

    Carrots
    (sliced)

    Stir-Fry 3-4 minutes
    Steamed 4-5 minutes
    Microwave 4-5 minutes

    Corn
    (on the Cob)

    Stir-Fry not recommended
    Steamed 4-7 minutes
    Microwave 1-2 minutes

    Zucchini
    (sliced)

    Stir-Fry 3-4 minutes
    Steamed 4-6 minutes
    Microwave 2-3 minutes

    Peas
    (shelled)

    Stir-Fry 2-3 minutes
    Steamed 4-5 minutes
    Microwave 2-3 minutes

    Green Beans
    (chopped or whole)

    Stir-Fry 3-4 minutes
    Steamed 5-8 minutes
    Microwave 3-4 minutes

    Spinach
    (chopped or whole)

    Stir-Fry 3 minutes
    Steamed 5-6 minutes
    Microwave 1-2 minutes

    Potatoes
    (cut into chunks)

    Stir-Fry not recommended
    Steamed 10-12 minutes
    Microwave 6-8 minutes
  • Eat

    As the adult in charge, you play a big role in sending positive messages to your kids about physical activity and eating healthy. When it comes to being a healthy eating role model for your kids, we recommend these simple steps:

    Try new healthy foods

    Your kids learn their eating habits from watching you. So let them see you eat more fruits and veggies—and they will too!

    Stay positive

    When talking to your kids about healthy eating, remember to stay positive. Don't talk about dieting or losing weight. Instead, talk about how great exercise and eating well makes you feel.

    Make time for family meals

    Regular family meals are a great opportunity to spend time with your family. Set up regular meal times as much as possible. Make it a happy time by talking to your kids about their day and learning about new foods.

  • Resources